Help or hindrance: the relationship of physical activity with aggressiveness and self-esteem in 16-year-old adolescents
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Department of Health Psychology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2019-04-25
Final revision date: 2019-06-26
Acceptance date: 2019-06-26
Online publication date: 2019-07-16
Publication date: 2019-07-16
Health Psychology Report 2019;7(3):242–253
Puberty is a particularly important period for moulding one’s lifestyle. Physical activity (PA) levels exhibited by teenagers remain low despite efforts to promote it, and the percentage of individuals who are exempt from taking part in physical education classes is high. In this context, the aim of the current study is to analyse the levels of aggression and self-esteem in adolescents characterised by different levels of physical activity.

Participants and procedure:
A total of 968 16-year-old adolescents took part in the study. Participants were divided into four subgroups: 1) a non-active group, n = 141 (95 girls); 2) a physical education (PE) group, n = 514 (322 girls); 3) a high PA group, n = 178 (81 girls); and 4) an athlete group, n = 135 (66 girls). Participants were asked to complete a so-cio-demographic survey and a set of questionnaires (IPAO, KAM-RE, and SES).

The non-active group scored higher than the PE and high PA groups on the general aggressiveness scale. Sta-tistically significant differences were found between the non-active group and other groups for direct and indi-rect aggression, opposition, and verbal aggression. The athlete group scored higher on the indirect aggression scale than the PE group. The high PA group scored higher than the non-active group in self-esteem.

Undertaking compulsory physical activity in school and additional physical activity based on one’s own interests is associated with lower levels of aggression in comparison to individuals who do not undertake any physical activity. For this reason, it is necessary to continue consistently promoting physical activity in school and during free time.

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